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SouthPark milestone: First new office building since 2007

It’s been about six years since a new office building has risen in SouthPark, but that’s changing.

On Thursday morning, a ceremony was held to mark the completion of the tallest part of a five-story office building that will be part of the 8-acre Sharon Square mixed-use development.

The building will be home to a regional headquarters for Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks, which will take up floors one through three.

Much work remains on Sharon Square, where some buildings are still under construction. It’s home to Charlotte’s only Whole Foods, the only business open so far in Sharon Square. The project is also expected to feature apartments and retail space, including restaurants.

As a light rain fell on the halfway built SunTrust building, attendees at the so-called topping-off ceremony crowded under a tent and watched as a crane placed a small tree on the top of the headquarters, a tradition in the construction industry.

Peter Pappas, whose company is developing Sharon Square with the Allen Tate Co., said the SunTrust building will be “substantially complete” by the end of the year. Also, he said, an information center for the Sharon Square project is expected to open in about 45 days.

Bill Peele, president of SunTrust’s Mecklenburg/South Carolina region, said the bank will consolidate operations at 6836 Morrison Blvd. and in Piedmont Town Center to the headquarters building. Also, a SunTrust branch that sits mere feet away from the new headquarters building will be shuttered and relocated to the headquarters.

Peele said about 160 SunTrust employees will work in the headquarters.

“We like the visibility of SouthPark,” he said.

SunTrust will house various operations in the new building, including private wealth-management, he said.

SunTrust provided the financing for the headquarters. Pappas, on Thursday, called SunTrust “quite a coup” for Sharon Square.

SouthPark, the Charlotte area’s third largest suburban office market, last saw new office construction in the third quarter of 2007, when the 125,000-square-foot Carolinas Medical Center Morrocroft facility was finished, according to Karnes Research Co.

Roberts: 704-358-5248 Twitter: @DeonERoberts
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